The Stately Pine Lesson


Also available in the Landscape Notebook.

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In Chinese landscape, the Pine tree is employed to depict moral principle, power and inner human potential. Historically, the Pine tree has been one of the favorite subjects of both Chinese brush painters and collectors. Whether it is painted simply or directly, it has usually been done in the unique, individual style of the artist.

In the late T’ang period (8th-9th centuries) the independent genre of painting of trees and rocks developed. In the 10th century, the tall Pine tree became ‘the symbol of a man of virtue in the wilderness’ to the recluse scholars in the Tang dynasty. Li Ch’eng (919-967) was the first Northern Sung landscape master. His work no longer exists but survives in ‘Travelers In A Winter Forest’ painted by an unknown 12th century artist.

We will take special note of this work in the accompanying picture. Enduring life was symbolized by trees, which though born of seeds grow into gnarled, dragon-like forms. This tradition continued through today.

One page is devoted entirely to Pine Needles! Wonderful master paintings are included. A real inspiration.

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